To Snack or Not To Snack?

I have had a couple of people ask if snacking could hinder their fitness goals, and if I usually snack between meals. Personally, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with snacking in between your meals as long as your snacks are chosen wisely. The problem arises when someone makes poor snacking choices such as running towards the nearest vending machine and grabbing sugary and deep fried snacks loaded with fat, sugar and empty calories that provide no nutritional value.

Throughout the day I like to eat 3-4 solid meals composed of a complex carbohydrate, healthy fats, green veggies and lean protein; then in between those meals I usually have 2-3 snacks, which I make sure contain some protein. I also chose snacks which are lower in calories. Healthy snacks can help fuel up the body with nutrients; help manage hunger and cravings without adding empty calories that can ultimately lead to weight gain.

Planning ahead is essential and when food shopping, you want to make sure to also get your healthy snacks for the week. You also want to chose snacks  that won't add unnecessary high amounts of calories, saturated fats and sugar to your diet. You want to chose wisely, so that your snacks won’t make you go over your total daily calories for the day.

I personally prefer fruits and vegetables as well as protein shakes as healthy snack options. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients, and fiber, which are beneficial to one’s health. The protein in the protein shakes help keep one feeling full for longer periods of time and prevents cravings.

I don’t buy junk foods and don’t have them readily available to me. Instead as I previously mentioned, I like to always have fresh fruits vegetables and protein powders stocked in the house (and carry them with me to work as well) so that when those cravings kick in, I can just grab whatever I have available and avoid temptation.

With that being said, I am going to share a list of my favorite and usual snacks I carry with me and have throughout the day. And also share what a usual day’s worth meals and snacks plan looks for me.

Healthy Snacks:

  • Home made protein-fruit-veggie smoothies, or plain Labrada's Lean Body For Her Whey Protein shake
  • ½ Cup of Strawberries
  •  4 oz. of Plain 0% Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
  •  4 oz. of 2% cottage cheese (one serving a day since cottage cheese can be high in sodium, check labels)
  • 1- Light String Cheese
  • 1-Apple (with Almond, Cashew or Peanut butter)
  • 1- Small Banana
  • 1- Brown rice cake
  • 1- Protein bar (low in sugar, carbs, trans fat and calories)
  • 1- Peach
  • 2-Tablespoons of healthy butters such as Almond, Cashew or Peanut butter)
  • 2- Tablespoons of Hummus
  • 10- Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-3- Stacks of Celery (Great with Hummus)
  • 1- Cup of Cucumber (Great with Hummus)
  • 1- Red Pepper
  • 1 oz- Mixed-Nuts Unsalted: Plain unsalted Almonds (About 13 a day) Peanuts, Cashews (Watch your portions of nuts since they can add up the calories quickly).

A Usual Day’s Worth of Meals and Healthy Snacks:

Meal #1

Protein-Fruit-Veggie Smoothie made with: 

  • ½ Banana, ½ cup of Blueberries
  • 1 Cup of Spinach
  • ½ Teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • Teaspoon of Chia Seeds
  • ½ Scoop of Labrada’s Lean Body For Her Peanut Protein powder
  • 1 Scoop of Labrada’s Lean Body For Her Vanilla Whey Protein powder
  • 1 Cup of water and Ice.

Meal #2

  • 4 Egg whites (one yolk)
  • ½ Sprouted grain Ezequiel English muffin
  • ¼ of Hass avocado.

Snack 

  • One brown rice cake with 1 tablespoon of Cashew butter OR 1 cup of sliced cucumber
  • 2 Tablespoons of Hummus OR a Labrada's Lean Body For Her Chocolate Protein shake made with just water and ice.

Meal# 3

  • 5 oz. Grilled Chicken breast
  • ½ Baked sweet potato
  • 1 Cup of steamed asparagus
  • ¼ of Hass Avocado.

Snack 

  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Tablespoon of Almond butter OR a Labrada’s Lean Body For Her Chocolate Whey Protein shake made with just water and ice.

Meal #4

  • 5oz of Baked Tilapia
  • ½ Baked sweet potato
  • 1 Cup of steamed broccoli.

Meal #5

  • 5 oz. Grilled Chicken breast with mixed greens salad.

Snack 

  • Labrada’s Lean Body For Her Chocolate Whey Protein Shake with Unsweetened Almond milk.

 

Planning ahead and having your healthy meals and snacks with you and available to you can mean all the difference when one is trying to become healthier and improve one’s physique. If you need any tips on how to plan and prepare your meals check out my blog: Successful Meal Planning. If you would like to purchase the Labrada's Protein Shakes I use, please click on this link and don’t forget to get your discount code and free gift by using code: VANESSAGIFT at checkout.

P.S - To calculate and learn about the nutritional value of some of your favorite foods (including snacks) you can check out: www.caloriecount.com